The mostly anti-drilling Pennsylvania Environmental Council has a new leader. We say “mostly” in deference to being corrected by the PEC a few years ago when we called them outright anti-drilling (see Pennsylvania Environmental Council Publishes New “Green Lease” Guide). On Friday the PEC named Davitt B. Woodwell to the position of president and chief executive officer, succeeding Paul M. King, who is retiring. The PEC is not dogmatically opposed to Marcellus drilling like many similar organizations in the environmentalist movement. The PEC at least allows there will be some drilling (they’re pragmatic). But make no mistake–they really wish there was no shale drilling in the state. They wouldn’t say that out loud in polite company–but that’s what they think and talk about behind closed doors.
The newly promoted Mr. Woodwell is a participant in the so-far underwhelming Center for Sustainable Shale Development (CSSD)–an uneasy partnership between the shale drilling industry and environmentalists (see CSSD’s Andrew Place Talks About 3-Leg Approaches & Firehoses). Woodwell belongs to the Standards and Evaluation Committee of the CSSD. We’ll keep a close eye on the PEC and Mr. Woodwell for signs of Marcellus trouble-making. Meanwhile, here’s Friday’s announcement and brief bio (with lots of enviro-cred) for Mr. Woodwell: